Ormandy Trains display (photo by Rachael Jirousek)
Ohio Life Travel | Best Hometowns

Main Street Shopping: Medina

Explore Medina Farmers Exchange, browse beautiful creations at Polish Pottery and get in the Christmas spirit at Castle Noel all year round. 

Settled in 1818, Medina has that New England staple of a public square in the heart of town, just like other Ohio communities mapped out as part of the Connecticut Western Reserve. The city’s downtown buildings are of a similar age, too, after a devastating 1870 fire required most of the structures along the square to be rebuilt. (A previous blaze had decimated the square in 1848.) “It makes our town unique,” says Matt Wiederhold, director of Main Street Medina. “With a lot of Victorian-era buildings, people say they feel like they’re walking through a set of a Hallmark movie.” The square is home to 40 boutiques and shops and 18 eateries as well as unique attractions like Castle Noel.

Ormandy’s Trains: For anyone who holds warm memories of narrow aisles stacked with the familiar orange boxes of Lionel toy trains, Ormandy’s is like a trip back in time. The store sells all sizes of model railroad gauges, from miniscule N to the big G gauge (and even the now-defunct American Flyer S). 10 Public Square, Medina 44256, 330/722-1019

Courthouse Pizzeria: 
One of the few downtown structures to have survived both Medina fires (it’s made of brick, not wood), Courthouse Pizzeria’s 1821 home is the seventh-oldest building in Ohio and once housed the city’s first courthouse. The shop specializes in New York-style slices, the kind you have to fold before you eat. 2 Public Square, Medina 44256, 330/952-1743, courthousepizzeria.com

Polish Pottery bird salt-shakers (photo by Rachael Jirousek)
Polish Pottery:
This store offers dining ware and service plates and bowls made with white clay from the town of Boleslawiec in the Silesian region of Poland. The products are durable and ornately painted in both traditional and modern designs. They’re safe for use in ovens, microwaves and the dishwasher. 100 Public Square, Medina 44256, 330/952-1031, polishpotterywestlake.com

Something’s Popping: As the name suggests, this store’s specialty is gourmet popcorn in more than 30 flavors, ranging from standards like cheese and caramel to more exotic options such as Hot Wings and Loaded Potato. You’ll also find chocolates, small-batch soda pop and penny candy here. 47 Public Square, Medina 44256, 330/722-3088, somethingspopping.net

The Gardener’s Cottage: This shop sells an eclectic variety of items, from rustic art pieces to clothing to decorative items for the home. You’ll also find wedding and seasonal items as well as gag gifts that demonstrate an entertaining sense of humor, including hand towels with pithy slogans and novelty socks. 226 S. Court St., Medina 44256, 330/721-6633, gardenerscottagemedina.com

Castle Noel display (photo by Rachael Jirousek)
Castle Noel: This spot offers holiday cheer year-round. Mark KIaus has compiled a delightful collection of Christmas memorabilia that spans toys, movie props and decorations that once dressed department store windows. Reservations are required. 260 S. Court St. Medina 44256, 330/721-6635, castlenoel.com

The Olive Tap: A great stop for home cooks, the Olive Tap offers a variety of artisanal olive oils infused with other flavors. The shop also stocks artisanal balsamic vinegars, which are finding new popularity as a seasoning in entrees and desserts in addition to their role in great salad dressings. 30 Public Square, Medina 44256, 330/721-6500, theolivetap.com

Medina Sports Cards and Collectibles: For kids at heart, there’s no rush like tearing into a new pack of baseball cards, and Medina Sports Cards and Collectibles has been filling that urge since 1989. The store also sells nonsports cards like Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh. 110 W. Washington St., Medina 44256, 330/725-2273

Farmer's Exchange Keller Meats counter (photo by Rachael Jirousek)
Medina Farmers Exchange: A $5.5 million renovation brought new life to the Farmer’s Exchange Building. It’s home to Keller Meats and Pierogies of Cleveland as well as The Farmer’s Table restaurant and Medina Brewing Co. A variety of boutiques appear on a rotating basis as well. 320 S. Court St., Medina 44256, 330/952-2087, facebook.com/theexchangemarket

Root Candles: No trip to Medina is complete without a stop at Root Candles. The venerable company dates back to 1869, when Amos Root started beekeeping, collecting honey and using the wax to make candles. Today, the company offers candles in a wide variety of fragrances and sizes. 623 W. Liberty St., Medina 44256, 330/725-6677, rootcandles.com

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